Winter Storm Landon brings people to play in the Greater Columbus

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Wally, a 3-year-old miniature goldendoodle, jumped into the parking lot entrance barking excitedly.

Her hairy feet were encased in little slippers that her parents, Carolyn and Jon Mandl, said they hated.

Snow, on the other hand, is another story.

“He’s obsessed with snow,” said 28-year-old Carolyn Mandl. “It’s a snow pup.”

The Mandls, who live in German Village, were in the parking lot of the old Panera Bread on South High late Friday morning. Carolyn is working from home and Jon, 29, was working remotely due to the weather.

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They decided to try and get some of Wally’s energy out by playing in the snowy parking lot during their lunch breaks. While Carolyn was talking about how much Wally loves snow – eating it, jumping in it, rolling in it – Wally lay between Jon’s legs, burying his nose in the white powder.

“He just, like, rubbed in it,” she said.

Thursday and Friday morning brought plenty of white stuff to Columbus, with the National Weather Service in Wilmington reporting between 3 and 4 inches fell overnight. Another 1-2 inches was expected during the day, followed by a cold snap when Saturday would see a high of just 22 degrees.

A male cardinal sits in a tree near Webster Park as snow falls during winter storm Landon in Columbus on Friday.

A Fun Day in the Columbus Snow

With many schools and businesses closed again on Friday and Franklin County under a Level 2 snow emergency discouraging unnecessary travel, the wintry weather has given residents of Greater Columbus a chance to get outside and enjoy the snow.

College students living around the University District took advantage of the snowy conditions for late night fun.

Once the snow began to pile up Thursday evening, snowball fights broke out on campus late into the night. A young man skied down Lane Avenue towards the High Street. By Friday morning, however, the fun had died down as many Ohio State students returned to campus for in-person classes. A few brave individuals from North 4th Street wearing shorts, boots and hoodies tried to free their cars from the snow.

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At Scioto Audubon Metro Park, south of downtown, the Frencho family enjoyed sledding, saying it was the perfect type of snow for the task. And while the kids — Jack, 11; Sophie, 9 years old; and Mary, 6 – loved running down the hill, filling the air with laughter, their parents also had fun getting in on the action.

“That’s what’s great about having kids is having an excuse to do fun things like go sledding,” dad JJ Frencho said.

On Friday, Sophia Frencho, 9, left, and her brother Jack, 11, walk on their sleds up the hill from Scioto Audubon Metro Park in Columbus.

Folks at Olentangy Park in Worthington also had fun sledding on Friday afternoon.

Clutching a newly purchased saucer in both hands, John Chirico, dressed in a bright yellow jumpsuit, gathered himself to the top of the park’s toboggan hill and began a full sprint towards the precipice, hurled his back into the sled and stood on .

Describing himself as “33 and looking 13”, the Olentangy High School English teacher brought along his son-in-law, Clark Bomsta, who watched in awe as Chirico missed the saucer on a previous run and snuck up. to crush.

The next try was what he wanted, passing several smaller children and parents, several dozen of whom were sledding nearby.

“I was just trying to get the most speed,” said Chirico, of Worthington Hills. “At my size, you need more momentum to go faster.”

Asked about the previous missed run, he replied, “I missed the sled. My back is going to hurt tomorrow.”

Martin Perez, from Linden, brought his three children, including Jessica, 16, who said she preferred skiing because “you’re on your own, you move faster and it’s more exhilarating.” Roads prevented him from going on Thursday, and he promised his family that Friday would be better.

“They counted the hours,” he said.

Chris Jury of Hilliard pulls his wife and children and a friend's family members in a canoe around their property on Friday.  They started this tradition of snow canoeing last year saying:

Chris Jury, 38, has taken winter fun to the next level. On Friday afternoon, he took his wife, Jamie, their three children – Allie, 9; Mackenzie, 7; and Eli, 5 – and members of another family take a canoe ride through the snow pulling it out of a four-wheeler in their yard.

“With COVID, we’ve had to come up with ideas on how to have more fun at home, so we can do it with our friends outside,” Jury said. “So we had a big dinghy that they could sit in and be quite far apart. I guess it’s become a bit of a tradition now. Anytime we have a good fall of snow, our friends are coming and we’re all going canoeing.”

The Hilliard resident had a lot of snow to traverse on his 12-acre property. The city saw about 6.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Enjoy the winter view from inside

Those who didn’t want to be outside could at least enjoy the snow from a warm place.

This was the case with the customers of the Chocolate Cafe Express in the brewery district.

The cafe opened a bit late because of the snow, according to Kiana Scheerschmidt, a manager. And, although the morning was slow, Scheerschmidt said she was surprised at how many customers they had.

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Fancy a snowy treat? Scheerschmidt recommended hot chocolate. Or, for a caffeine fix, mocha. The grilled cheese and tomato soup is also “such a great treat” for cold days, she said.

In the Arena area, a few people could be spotted at Boston’s Pizza Restaurant and Sports Bar as lunchtime approached.

Tim Emery, owner, said 10 employees were due to have lunch at work, but only three arrived. The others were stuck at home, their driveways blocked by small mountains of cleared snow.

Meanwhile, TJ Guzzo, 35, spent Friday morning shoveling snow outside the Virtue Vegan Salon in Clintonville. The salon manager said the business had been closed all week for renovations, but he wanted to make sure the sidewalk was clear for people to walk on.

Guzzo said he will spend his day indoors working on the living room, which includes painting and re-flooring. However, he plans to take advantage of the snow on Saturday.

“Tomorrow is our lazy day, and we have a little dog who loves to run in the snow,” he said.

Dale Grinstead, owner of Tonsorial Parlor in Goodfellow, ices the sidewalk outside his barber shop in Columbus on Friday.

Reporters Sheridan Hendrix, Danae King, Dean Narciso and Monroe Trombley and photographer Alie Skowronski contributed to this story.

Micah Walker is Dispatch’s trending reporter. Contact her at [email protected] or 740-251-7199. Follow her on Twitter @micah_walker701.

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